PREP CHEER: ‘We are all in this together’: Vinemont’s Ashton Kelley recaps junior year

Vinemont’s Ashton Kelley. (Courtesy of Ashton Kelley)

VINEMONT, Ala. — Vinemont senior cheerleader Ashton Kelley has been cheering on the varsity squad for her entire high school career. She talked about last season and what all she learned and why she feels blessed to get to cheer alongside some great girls.

“I think last season went amazing. We won our regional competition and placed fourth at state. We all learned that is worth putting in the hard work and long hours to achieve your goals. We also learned when you constantly believe in each other, it makes everything 10 times better,” Kelley said. “My experience has been amazing. Some of my closest friends have been a part of the cheer team. I would not be the person I am right now without all the relationships I have made with my teammates. It has been the best. I will forever cherish all the laughs and memories my teammates and I have made together during practices, games, and competitions. I will also always remember all the lessons we have taught each other. I have learned that building friendships in high school is going to be one of the most beneficial things you can do. I have also learned that no matter what, the people I cheer with will always be by my side.”

Ashton has got to cheer under some great coaches and has soaked up as much as she could from them. She got to cheer with some great seniors and learned some things from them as well.

“My first two years cheering, I was coached by Shannon Bridges. Last year, Madison Ballard was our coach. Both of them were amazing. They are both so loving and caring and they will always be there for their cheerleaders. Both of them taught me that if I put my mind to it, nothing is impossible. They also taught me to never give up and to always believe in myself,” Kelley said. “They were all really great leaders and they taught me to always support my team and be positive, even when things aren’t going our way.”

Ashton talked about the experience competing at state last season and what all she has learned from competing there the past few years.

“It was a very memorable experience. I loved being able to compete with my team and watching them push themselves to be the greatest they can be. We all worked super hard, and it was so amazing, watching all of our hard work pay off,” Kelley said. “I have learned that it is always worth it to fight through the anxiety of competing in front of people. I have also learned that your team is your biggest supporters during competitions and that you can never do anything alone. You always need to work as a team.”

Ashton will continue to work on some things in the offseason as she is preparing for next season. She has some very important goals for this upcoming season.

“I will continue to work on always being positive and always encouraging my team. To me, having an optimistic view on situations is always the answer. This year, my motto for myself is, ‘We are all in this together; teamwork is key’. I am also striving to work together with my team,” she said. “My team goal is for all of us to become close and to be like sisters. My personal goal is to center my decisions and actions on what God wants me to do.”

Ashton talked what will make this cheer squad special to watch, a cheerleader that she looked up to, and the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“I think we will be special to watch because we are all very dedicated and will always know the material we are given. We are also very encouraging to each other throughout our routines, and we also push ourselves to our limits with everything we do. Lastly, we are also very enthusiastic when it comes to hitting our stunts. We all start hugging and cheering each other on when we hit a difficult skill or stunt,” she said. “My freshman year, the cheer captain was Emily Cheatwood. She was such an amazing role model. She always made sure that her team knew what was going on and made sure we were all prepared. She was always willing to go over anything and help us at any time of the day. She also always made sure that we were always having fun.”

She added,

“The best advice someone ever gave me is to always put God at the center of your life and to give everything to Him. He is everything you will ever need in life.”

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